STOP FISHING ENDANGERED MAKO SHARKS IN NEW YORK SHARK TOURNAMENTS

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Mako Sharks are a known endangered species. According to the IUCN redlist, their numbers are decreasing. New York State still allows for these sharks to be fished for prize money, disregarding the fact that taking the biggest sharks out of the ecosystem does not allow them to reproduce. Sharks are an important keystone species and they fall under every requirement for a protected species under NYS DEC regulations, yet have no protection. With the motivation of money, fishermen have caught Mako sharks, regardless of size, and often times will catch sizes that are protected, but bring them in anyway. Mako sharks need total protection to build up their populations. As a pelagic (Deep sea) species of shark, they do not congregate near beaches, we can coexist with them peacefully, but not when we are contributing to their dwindling numbers. Shark fishing tournaments are seeing less and less Mako sharks, not by choice, but continue to seek them out. We need to make it unacceptable to pursue and kill endangered species. With the numbers already so low, every shark counts.